Welcome back! Last time, Ollie was busy setting up his new version of crimefighting while trying to establish himself running the family company. And he’s running into problems on both ends of that: on the public end from pro-Glades boosters like Sebastian Blood, and from Laurel, who has it out for our hooded hero. And in a case of “good idea, wrong timing”, Ollie heads to Laurel’s office to reason with her. Her response is a heavily armed team of cops leaving him with nowhere to go. So, um, we’re about to get an awkward reveal to Laurel, aren’t we?
A Bird Drops In. Just when it looks like Ollie may give up, that blonde woman in the skintight getup drops in, activates a sonic device that knocks out almost everyone, and gives her and Ollie enough time to get out of that office. Ollie tries to get some answers from her about who she is, but gets silence as she leaves. Then, Ollie gets back to his lair to be pretty much asked the questions we had about this mystery woman by Diggle and Felicity. And also, Diggle gives him grief about bothering to go to Laurel’s in the first place.
All Dressed Up With Nowhere To Go. Speaking of the Lance family, Quentin becomes the focal point of this episode, as an old case rears its nasty head. While still a uniform cop, he hears about a recent murder that bears a striking resemblance to a serial killer known as the Dollmaker. But he thinks the Dollmaker is still locked up in prison, only to hear he escaped when the quake that destroyed the Glades also allowed some inmates to do the same. He’s warned away from getting involved in this case, and the police are being told to stay mum on the Dollmaker escaping. So he gambles on contacting the Hood to help bring the Dollmaker to justice, and he figures out they are on a timetable between the murders of three days, which leaves them two to find the killer. But we see the Dollmaker, Bart Mathis, already snatch up his newest victim. Clock’s ticking.
The Game’s Afoot. The Hood and Quentin visit Mathis’ attorney to ask where his client is (and by “ask”, that’s “Ollie shooting an arrow through the attorney’s shoulder”), which leads to an apartment he’s staying at. Mathis isn’t there, but he’s laid out a nice display with a phone, that rings for Quentin. Mathis taunts Quentin with him killing his next victim over the line by pouring some fast acting hardening gel down her throat. Yikes. That victim is found by the cops, and in order to get into the police mainframe for more information (Felicity’s hacking of said mainframe of late has made the cops beef up their computer network), Ollie and Quentin break into the police HQ to find a connection to all the victims by a rare skin cream. So Felicity agrees to buy the cream as a lure for Mathis.
Takes One To Know One. While shadowing Felicity’s skin cream shopping, both Ollie and Quentin discuss their hang-ups and the losses that caused them. For Quentin, it’s the fact that when her other daughter vanished, he got the Dollmaker case and it almost emotionally wrecked him. Before Ollie can reveal his, Felicity gets snatched by Mathis, which is interrupted by Ollie, and leads to Mathis getting away with Quentin being arrested for obstruction by trailing Mathis. Laurel arranges for her dad to be released, and gives him crap about getting help from the Hood. He points out how Tommy’s death has affected Laurel and not for the better. After that little spat, Quentin gets tasered by Mathis, and put in a van…next to a bound-up Laurel.
Taking Your Daughter To Work. Mathis sets up Quentin to watch his newest doll being made: Laurel. Before that can happen, Ollie arrives to stop that and plans on taking Mathis to prison. That doesn’t happen thanks to that mystery woman coming to the same place and sending a metal spike through Mathis’ heart. Laurel is broken up because she’s finally pieced together that she may have inadvertently brought Tommy to the Glades to save her and he’s dead because of it. Also, that conclusion might be a little warped because just a few minutes ago, she had a long plastic hose full of white stuff about to be pumped down her throat. Nothing creepy and/or sexual about that at all.
Off With Her Head! On the Moira Queen front, she has her pre-trial hearing, which she takes well, and Thea doesn’t. And this is before the DA asks the judge to put the death penalty on the table for Moira. Her lawyer wants to fight this using a defense she was threatened by Malcolm, and Moira’s concerned some secrets she wants to stay secret will come out, endangering her family. Wait, being involved in a diabolical murder scheme is not the worse thing you’ve done, Moira?
Looking For A Canary. Ollie enlists Roy to look for the blonde mystery woman, whose leads point him towards a girl called Cynthia, or Sin in this case. Before he can get information, Sin bolts and Roy chases her into a clock tower, where he gets knocked unconscious. He comes to, and meets the mystery woman, who asks if he’s “one of them”. She bolts and lets him go when Thea calls him. After killing Mathis, she heads back to the clocktower, and meets another hooded figure, one who says it’s time to come home, because it was ordered by…wait for it…Ra’s al Ghul! Yeah, as in League of Assassins founder and frequent Batman nemesis Ra’s al Ghul. She refuses to go and kills the messenger. Once again, Ra’s al Ghul is in this universe!
Island Shipping. In the flashbacks this week, Slade and Ollie try to find a high point on the island to see what kind of trouble has arrived, while Shado stays in their home to examine one of the dead Japanese soldiers. While they’re on the high point, they see the freighter as it starts shelling their lair. Ollie and Slade rush back to the lair and get caught in the middle of the shelling, which knocks out Ollie and leaves Slade in a uncertain place (although with Slade’s hands on fire in the last we see of him, I’m not seeing him making a speedy recovery). Not that Ollie knows what’s happened to Slade, let alone if Shado escaped the shelling, because he’s a prisoner on the freighter now. I’m sure he’ll get out of that. I’m just saying, it’s a flashback, we know he does.
–Comic Book Connections: Metamorpho Chemicals, based on the character Metamorpho; Tony Daniel is a lawyer here, but in real life, wrote and did art for a run on the Batman comics; the freighter is called Amazo; Sin is another character from the DCU; and, yes…Ra’s al Ghul!
–I like how they glaze over how Mathis nabbed Laurel as “I don’t know” dialogue and never bring it up again. And don’t ask about police security in the police parking lot.
–I believe we are officially 3 for 3 in the one shirtless Ollie scene per episode pool.
–Even Quentin is amazed by the wonder that is Felicity Smoak. You and me both.
–In more guest casting, I just saw the actress who plays Sin on the now last season of The Killing. Her character alone on that season may be alone worth recommending a watch, even if it is some dark and bleak stuff.
–Why Oliver doesn’t think the lawyer will talk after being shot in the shoulder with that arrow: “Because he has another shoulder.” Yikes.
–“The next time I offer to be bait for a serial killer, please turn me down.”
So how about all this development, huh? Leave your thoughts and theories below, and join me next time for “Crucible”…